German troops vacate base in Pul-i-Khumri
PUL-I-KHUMRI (PAN): German troops have vacated a military base in the capital of northern Baghlan province, handing the facility over to Afghan forces, an official said on Sunday.
Around 700 German troops were moved on Saturday from one of their military bases located in Poza Eshan area of Pul-i-Khumri, the provincial capital, said Maj. Gen. Abdul Majeed Gheyasi, the 209th Shaheen Military Corps commander.
He said Afghan forces lacked equipment compared to those with German troops, but still they would be able to maintain security on their own.
He said Afghan National Army soldiers worked hard to improve security, but they needed more equipment and advanced weapons.
The pullout comes about six months after a batch of German troops left Abqol and Mangal area of Baghlan-i-Markazi district and handed over the base to Afghan forces.
Gheyasi said Afghan forces had been able to maintain security in areas from where German forces had withdrawn six months ago.
Provincial police chief Col. Mohammad Sadiq Muradi said the presence of German forces had been crucial to the security in Baghlan.
He said Afghan forces who replaced German troops should be provided with more weapons and equipment. He said police would increase their coordination with army personnel during joint operations.
A tribal elder of the area, Mohammad Aziz, said German forces had a major role in keeping security by dealing with insurgent activities.
“Afghan soldiers also can maintain security when they are loyal to their duties and honest to the people,” he added.
Security officials say a limited number of other foreign forces remain in Kilah Gi area of Doshi district and they are also leaving in the near future.
Germany has 5000 troops operating in northern and northeastern provinces. So far 50 German soldiers have been.
Germany has promised continued support to Afghanistan post 2014 when all of its soldiers would leave.
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